Social networking sites such as Facebook provide the ideal environment for insecure narcissists to promote themselves and seek the admiration of others on a grand scale, a study says.
For the study, the researchers from University of Florence in Italy sought to find what type of narcissists were at higher risk for social networking addiction through a survey of 535 students.
The researchers found that vulnerable narcissists, who tend to be insecure and have lower self-esteem, are more likely to feel safer in online versus face-to-face interactions, which might lead them to prefer social networking as a means to gain approval and admiration.
In contrast, grandiose narcissists, who tend toward arrogance and exhibitionism are likely to seek out admiration more openly, rather than through social media.
The researchers said that no significant differences in social networking addiction were found between grandiose narcissists and non-narcissists.
"This study suggests that vulnerable narcissism may contribute more to problematic use of SNSs (social networking sites) than grandiose narcissism,” the researchers said.
The study was published online in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.